Radiohead’s Pay-What-You-Wish Download: How Much Gold Will You Throw At “In Rainbows”?
Radiohead’s next album, In Rainbows, is complete and coming out Oct. 10 in digital form before coming out as a double-CD/double-12-inch box on Dec. 3, a beat-the-leakers move that recalls both Stars’ three-months-early digital distribution of their album In Our Bedroom After The War and Matador Records’ Buy Early Get Now program. People who pony up the £40 ($81.18 as of this writing) for the deluxe edition (packaging above) will automatically have access to the download, but those who just want the files on their hard drive are being allowed to go the “pay what you like” route, an art-museumy move that inspired former Idolator guestblogger Eric Harvey to coin the should-be-used-by-everyone term “lossy leader.”
Apparently shoppers can pay as little as £0.01 ($0.02 thanks to the free-falling dollar) for the album, although there’s a £0.45 ($0.91) surcharge tacked on to every order. So how much will you pay for the download if you decide to go the physical-copy-free route–and if you can actually get through the site, which has been hit with huge lag times thanks to every Pitchfork devotee flooding it with requests?